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CNC Mill/Router Build Log

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by PheonixV2, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi all,

    I've had a project in the works for a few years now, collecting parts, iterating on the design, slowly putting it all together 1 bolt per month. And now in quarantine I've had a bit more time in the evenings and over the weekends to work on it and it's coming together rather quickly now
    upload_2020-4-1_10-53-44.png
    I've designed it as a fixed gantry cnc, 800x600x300 with a working area of less than that
    I had a huge stuff-around when I ordered the ball-screws because when they arrived they were dented and scuffed and the bearings had grit in them. I found out after contacting the manufacturer that this was because their apprentice had made them haha

    I've taken numerous breaks so far during the build, mostly due to motivation issues and not wanting to set up the workshop every time, but also due to my brother doing a service on his motorbike and leaving leaving engine open to the world for a few months which I thought might have been a dick move on my part if I got any swarf inside the cylinders

    Layout of the Y-Z interchange plate - This was before I discovered spray on adhesive so was holding it all down with masking tape

    20191124_133015.jpg
    I actually went away from using printouts as my marking guideline and got me some marking blue (from costless bolts, love those guys)

    20191124_153850.jpg
    Finishing off the interchange plate by counterboring everything - I bought 4 of these M6 counterbores from aliexpress thinking that I would go through them super quickly, but 100 something holes later and I'm still using the first one and it cuts through the steel like butter! Especially when using any coolant - There are some hard spots but that's just due to the nature of hot rolled steel cooling unevenly, the edges of these plates took 3 times as much effort to do, caused my entire drill press to bow!

    20191124_165626.jpg
    Test fitting the linear bearings and ballscrew mount, got the dimensions right the first try, booyah!

    20191124_182001.jpg
    Celebrating completing the first piece and having the those two rails actually be parallel was a huge bonus

    20191128_220003.jpg
    Z axis rail plate, lots more drilled, tapped and counterbored holes

    20191129_204217.jpg
    Interchange and rail plates mounted together, surprisingly everything is easily accessible! It's almost like I designed it for that (never expected it to work that way though, things appear a lot bigger on CAD than in real life sometimes)

    20191201_120132.jpg
    Laying out the frame, the scale of the mill/router is setting in a bit now
    Was able to borrow a friends TIG welder and workshop to do this bit

    20191201_160647.jpg
    This is the correct method of positioning things, we checked with our OH&S officer and he said it was fine, especially because we had out steel capped thongs on

    20191201_194218.jpg
    Again, best method of clamping
    We discovered that somehow (not sure what happened, as you can see our weld set up was perfect) that gantry supports were angled outwards by about 3 cm at the top
    I am still to fix this issue, but luckily it's not a critical position and so just zip cut the welds that were locking it outwards and have decided that I will just clamp the supports inwards when I weld the gantry on, the only thing that is critical is that the gantry itself is parallel to the table, doesn't matter if it looks like a trapezium or not

    All of these photos are from before the start of this year and will be updating this thread with my progress as I go along! This weekend I welded the gantry together and got the y-axis moving, as well I have finished the z-axis assembly (barring attaching the spindle mount, it's a weird shape and I can't get at it with my drill set-up)

    Looking forward to keeping everyone updated!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
    heller44 and mad_mic3 like this.
  2. MrSquiggle

    MrSquiggle Member

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    Location:
    Victoria, 3152
    Great stuff! Good to see quarantine being put to good use!
     
  3. Thraxeh

    Thraxeh Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sydney Australia NSW
    This looks really good. What do you plan to mill on this when its done?

    I'm building my first CNC, and its similar design to yours(fixed gantry and similar bed size), just scaled down in "sturdiness". I'm using 2020 extrusion, timber and SBR12 supported rails. But at the end of the day I'm just milling wood panels(I may delve into aluminum).

    It looks like you are using SBR20 or even bigger?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks, I have to do something with my weekends and evenings now, otherwise I'd go insane

    Thanks! I've got a few projects in mind although some of my friends have already requested me to machine parts so they can build their own routers, the cheeky buggers. I've got a couple of designs I'd like to make and potentially sell if they're any good, that's a big if
    And yeah it is the SBR20, I decided if I was going to do it, I'd do it right (as close as budget will allow). My trade-off of getting the linear supported rail instead of the box rail was that I have nothing to flatten my steel box sections with and I didn't want to have to pay someone to machine them for me, and the supported rail allows for quite a bit of deviation in the support surface
     
  5. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

    Joined:
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    Made some slow progress and started laying out the gantry. It was at this point that I realised many of square tubes I'm using for the gantry aren't the same length, but also that since the rails are going to be marked in place, the squareness of the gantry itself doesn't exactly matter, as long as it is relatively flat.
    I had to get inventive with how I was placing the cross members and had to clamp a bit of flat stock underneath the cross-tubes so that they were supported from below and wouldn't be protruding above the rest of the surfaces
    20200328_184421.jpg

    Once tacked in place I decided to do a bit of layout and took my completed Z-axis and lay it on top of the gantry, just to get a sneak peak of what the finished product would look like
    This is already stupidly heavy - My estimation for just the frame all welded together is 80kg, and then I'll be adding the motors, control box and table on top of that weight at the end
    20200329_163417.jpg

    Using the rails and the fixed position of the carriage I was able to roughly position the bearing blocks for the ball screw and tacked those supports in place
    It was also fun to be able to move the y-axis with the drill and realising just how much gearing down the screw does with 4 (or 5, I can't remember exactly and will HAVE to look this up again when it comes time to program) rotations per cm, it is not the fastest cnc around but it will be strong
    20200329_170542.jpg

    Made feet for the frame, they screw into a flat plate that is welded to the underside of the square section which is just tacked to the frame.
    I always knew my garage wasn't flat, but didn't realise it was this bad... and now I'm glad that I welded the frame on my mates welding table - which also isn't flat but a lot better than this
    20200405_182034.jpg

    I located the rails on the gantry and marked all of the hole locations, and now begins a much more challenging drill set up.
    The gantry is very unwieldy to position on my drill press (which doesn't have the biggest bed) and I can only clamp it down in two places which makes it very difficult to locate the drill on my center punches.
    I managed to drill 3 of the 4.2mm tap holes for the M5 bolts before something tweaked and the drill bit exploded. Fortunately I'm still as pretty as before, if not enhanced. Less fortunately, that was my only 4.2mm bit and my usual suppliers only had one other in stock and I fully expect to lose another 1 or 2 during this process - If anyone has suggestions on how to better set this up, I'm all ears, I would drill them by hand but the holes are so close to the wall of the tubing that the hole will start to wander under hand power
    20200405_220620.jpg

    The build will resume next weekend :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
    mad_mic3 and dirtyd like this.
  6. dirtyd

    dirtyd Member

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    Tried lowering the RPM on the drill press? Using cutting fluid? Put the drill bit as far into the chuck as you can?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Melbourne
    The new drill bit I have is a snub nose one, so very little stick out which will be much better. As far as cutting fluid goes, copious amounts of WD40 does the trick, one day I'll get proper cutting fluid

    The main issue is in the work holding, the gantry is so big that any movement (even if it just shifts a little) will just snap the drill bit apart. I had thought about renting a mag drill just to do these but couldn't find anywhere that does that
     
  8. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    I marked all the locations for the mounting holes by locating the rails on top of the gantry, got it all lined up using the carriage and a dial indicator, clamped the rails in place and used a 5.5mm drill bit to do a quick spot drill and after I centre-punched the mark. Each hole is on the rails is a 5mm clearance hole which fortunately is 5.5mm, so it was perfect for locating
    Set up drilling for the gantry using my car jack and a few choicely placed clamps. Due the sheer size and weight of it, it was difficult to position each hole correctly and one or two were slightly off the centre punch (btw, spring loaded centre punches are amazing and I wish I had bought one sooner). I managed to drill all the holes without losing another drill bit which I was quite excited about, my new bit cut through the steel like butter.
    20200410_150004.jpg

    Next came the joyous task of tapping all 7 thousand holes, which I did by hand.
    It's good practice to do it by hand even though using a drill would be faster but drills are less reliable - I snapped so many taps at work I do everything by hand until M6 and up
    Pity these are M5 threads
    20200410_160032.jpg

    Once all the holes were tapped it was time to prove the pudding. I also discovered that I was completely right using my above method for locating the holes, since the rails are not drilled to spec and the holes do not line up on each other. So I had to mark which rail went where and in what orientation on the gantry.
    With the screws snugged up I did a test fit of the exchange plate/carriage and it went on perfectly, no binding throughout the length of the gantry. I powered it along with the drill and it was top notch stuff, if I do say so myself.
    My only concern at this point is if there is a twist in the gantry, in which case I'll have to get it machined flat, but I can hope it doesn't come to that
    20200410_175616.jpg

    Got clamps?
    The gantry members were bowed outwards from previous welding, and those tack welds had since been cut, so I was able to use a ratchet strap and a few clamps to position the gantry.
    This is just to force the frame into the correct shape for welding, the gantry is not in its final resting place
    20200411_154224.jpg

    With the gantry tacked in place, I was able to run beads on the supports, filling in the welds and locking everything in place
    Fortunately there's so much thermal mass the welds didn't pull any members too far, but even so I still strong-armed the important pieces into position
    The hole thing is getting pretty heavy now, and I'm not skilled enough with MIG to run beads vertically or upside down. I'm perfectly happy doing them from the top, left to right, don't need to leave my comfort zone too much
    I did try several times but that resulted in some nasty welders and crazy amounts of slag. My current theory is that my welder can't put out enough juice to heat up the weld site quickly enough in a fillet weld or vertically. Slowing the feedrate of the wire down was able to get enough heat into the weld but then there wasn't enough wire to fill it, so it kept cutting short and wasn't able to keep a continuous arc. I'll have to practice some more on some scrap, but unfortunately all the steel suppliers are closed over Easter
    20200411_163053.jpg

    TADAA!
    A (almost) fully welded CNC Mill frame :)
    There are a few gussets to add, as well as redoing a lot of the fillet welds, not because they don't work, but because I can make them better
    20200411_191038.jpg

    The gantry will be coming off again and I will start positioning it into its final resting place, how am I going to do that?
    Find out next time on C N C
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    Since it was such a lovely day I was working with the garage door open which made it very difficult to take photos, so I didn't get many for the days work

    I spent a decent amount of time getting the entire frame level before starting to do any locating work. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the garage floor is not flat/level at all and I nearly ran out of extension on one of the feet
    I cut off the gantry and started re-positioning with the help of my brother (the entire frame is approximately 80kg now and no longer a 1 man job).
    Since the gantry itself isn't a reference surface I had to attach the rails and the Y-carriage to get a reading from. I have a digital inclinometer that we were using to compare the table angle to the carriage angle, somehow we lucked out and got it to 0.09 degrees of each other on the first placement (which comes to about 1mm/m), so the gantry got tacked in two spots on the top which will still allow the whole gantry to 'swing' forwards and backwards to set the z-x angle
    20200413_160501_1.jpg

    To be able to adjust the z-x angle, I welded two nuts to the bottom of the gantry (the right nut/screw combo can be seen here, it is identical on the left). The screw then pushes against the angle plate which provides the angle adjustment. Below you can see the most accidentally artistic photo I've ever taken, it has everything; colour, lighting and contrast and other picture related words
    You can see the inclinometer in action on the left, reading 89.63 deg from the table reference. It was also at this point that I had to stop calibrating, because calibrating against the table really means nothing, I need to have the x axis in place so I can adjust everything relative to each moving axis
    20200413_164059.jpg

    Where I finished up for the day, z-axis fully attached and mounted, it was quite a lot of fun moving it around with the drill, I might have to attach one of the actual motors soon and start playing with the electronics. I've got mach3 and a ethernet smooth stepper rev2, but I've heard that the ess can also support mach4, so I may look into that too
    20200413_181718.jpg

    I now have to go find the steel I'm going to use for the bed as well as lots of flat stock for motor mounts etc. I didn't think I'd reach this point this quickly so now I get to enjoy hunting through off-cut bins because the size of the stock I need is just very $$$. I'm hoping to make the bed out of pieces of 10-15mm plate, something that will be strong without much support
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    The steel arrived for the table as well as a whole bunch of other standard sized pieces that I can make mounting brackets for things
    Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the steel bundle, but it weighed around 70kg and I found the best way to move it around was to actually put it on top of my steel cap shoe and walk with it (it was a very awkward bundle)

    The weekend began by spending a decent amount of time ensuring the cross beams for the x-axis were square. The stock didn't come in with square ends, and I had to shorten them by ~1mm with the angle grinder so they were definitely not square afterwards. I welded on some 'wings' that can be used for clamping and positioning of the cross beams, however initially I didn't quite think through my weld set up and the lack of squareness propagated through. The second attempt was much better, I put some mig wire underneath the tube to lift it off the ground and this time the wings came out perfectly
    20200418_185928.jpg

    Laying out the hole pattern for the x-axis skates. The skates connect the two linear bearing blocks together per rail, and the two table slabs will bolt to those skates setting the distance between the rails
    Luckily the two parts are identical so I was able to drill one, check its fit and then transfer punch/drill onto the second skate
    20200419_143215.jpg 20200419_154711.jpg Table Skates.PNG

    Test fitting the skate before counterboring, it fits perfectly without any binding and as a bonus all of the holes line up!
    20200419_155100.jpg

    With both skates done I found I didn't have an M8 tap drill (or decent M8 tap) and so have to postpone connecting the plates until next weekend.
    However I can clamp the rails in place and put one of the plates on top to get a feel for what the machine will look like, and I have to say, it's looking more and more finished every day.
    20200419_170332.jpg

    The excitement is climbing, as well as my welding skills - I can now actually do fillet welds and get decent looking beads, still need to practice doing the welds in any other positions though
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    This weekend began the alignment process of all the rails against each other. The biggest challenge is figuring out the best order of operations and then how to fix positions in place with so many moving parts

    Started by laying out and drilling the one side of the table - This will allow me to set the distance of the x-rails and ensure they're parallel.
    At some point during either the laying out or drilling of the skates or the table piece, something went wrong because there are a 2 holes that don't line up. Luckily I had spare enough to fix the table in place
    20200426_143035.jpg

    Drilling this monster plate forced me to break out the car jack again
    20200426_175352.jpg

    The head-against-wall-smashing process of aligning everything. So many pieces are referenced off each other, it's hard to know where to start to get the least error stack-up. And not having any fixed references besides the rails themselves is proving to be a bit of a challenge now. If I had to build this machine again, I think I might get some parts either machined properly, or buy ground plate to work from to give myself those references
    20200426_183613.jpg

    At the end of it, I still have to disassemble the entire x-axis anyway to be able to pack the cnc away for the week, it's too heavy to move easily otherwise (especially with the y-axis still just tacked in place)
    I will have to figure out how to move this around more easily. It was meant to have a dedicated bench, but that never materialised and there's no space to keep it set up at the moment

    On the other hand, I'm looking forward to next weekend when I'll hopefully fully align the support beams and weld it all together - after that it will be adding the motor mounts and painting this bad boy so it can stop rusting :)
    If anyone has recommendations for colours to paint it or specific rust prevention paints that works well, I'm all ears!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Didn't feel like I made a lot of progress this weekend. There was a lot of struggling to get the rails aligned to within a tolerance that I'd be happy with, so I gave up on that and started making motor brackets instead

    Had to get very creative for this set-up. The large plate is the Z-axis rail plate which has the mountings for the bearing blocks as well as the ball screw. The top of this plate has to be drilled and tapped so the motor flange can be bolted to it. As you can see it's a biiiig plate and didn't fit in the travel of my drill press. So I broke out the mill vice I ordered a while ago (first time using it and it is a rock, so happy), clamped the vice to the table, loosened the head of the drill press and swung it over and started drilling. At this point I remembered why the drill press has it's own attached table because it lifted itself up off the workpiece, so I clamped the base down and had Dad lend a hand to hold the head in place for drilling
    Surprisingly, both holes came out perfectly, were tapped fine and even lined up with the flange
    20200502_132305.jpg

    Had another crack at aligning the y-axis rails to be perpendicular to the table - turns out theres a twist in my rails/gantry that causes the rails to bow 0.5mm inwards in the centre of the gantry and to twist by ~0.8degrees at the right most side of the gantry. The twist would generate a runout of ~2mm/m or 0.3mm over its 150mm of Z-travel which is too much for me. After much clamping and hammering, I couldn't get the twist to be less than 0.6deg, so I clamped and welded it in place and will use shims to remove the bow and twist afterwards - As well the twist only occurs on the top rail
    20200502_184143.jpg

    In progress pic with the clamps on the right side x-rail, I had my large square and was using that to align the two axis to be perpendicular with help from a dial indicator, however couldn't get the runout to be less than 0.8mm across the length of the square which is very much no bueno. Using the table as a spacer, I bolted the 'front' ends of each x-rail in place to use as a pivot (allowing the other end to be free to be pulled by clamps into position). This produced the strangest measurements I've ever come across because even with the end bolted in place and by twisting the other end, I was still getting variation across the whole length.
    I'll try to explain that more clearly. The indicator would read 0mm at the close and and 0.8mm at the far end, so I'd pull the far end around until it read 0.4mm, then I'd swing the indicator across and the close end would read -0.4mm. This happened consistently throughout the day, I even tacked the one rail in place to try and stop this, but nope.
    If anyone has any better ideas about how to get these perpendicular, I'm all ears
    20200503_135035.jpg

    Started drilling test pieces for the motor mounts. Trying to make the brackets have slotted holes so I can properly tension the belts by just sliding the motors further back - Slotting is friggen hard in steel. After much testing, for a 5.5mm clearance slot I found the best method is to space and odd number of holes (eg 3 for a slot ~15mm long) 5.1mm apart. This leaves the holes close enough for overlap, but far enough apart that the centre hole still has meat for the drill to bite into. The outside holes have to be drilled first, otherwise there'll be uneven pressure on the drill bit for the centre hole and it will slip out. After that, I hope you like filing and you have files small enough - i tried using a cold chisel, but that just dented everything :\ If you have a jewellers saw or similar, you might be able to clean the slot that way
    I might try the dremel next and see how that goes
    Slotting with the hole saw was very straightforward, just drill two holes and you're good to go - Just remember to put a backing plate down otherwise you'll leave saw marks in your drill press table (A moment of silence for my once pristine drill press)
    20200503_201216.jpg

    Test fitting my test bracket on the y-axis
    It fits, it's adjustable, and 5mm plate is strong enough to not need bracing, I'll call that a win and get on to making the proper brackets next weekend
    20200503_222150.jpg 20200503_222207.jpg

    The plan for next weekend - Get the x-rails to be within 0.2mm of runout and lock it in place
    Attach all motor mounts
    Strip all the components off and give it a good paint, I've had enough of fighting the little rust films
    Replace all components and try hooking up the control box
    Become millionaire
     
  13. m3k

    m3k Member

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    shes a beauty
     
  14. m3k

    m3k Member

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    make sure u get some firmware that can handle backlash compensation way better than hardware solutions imo when it comes to cnc mills - you can just re-calibrate as desired
     
  15. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you :)

    I'm going to be running MACH3 on an ethernet smoothstepper, I believe it has a backlash compensation function, but I haven't looked into that too much yet. I'm also hoping that it might have a skew correction feature like some 3D printers do

    I think the ethernet smoothstepper I have can run MACH4 as well, so I might upgrade to that later if I have the cash for it.
    What firmware have you used previously?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  16. Whoreof Babylon

    Whoreof Babylon Member

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    Amazing *Watched*

    Do you have a shopping list for your parts or are you going and buying what you need when you need it?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Cheers!
    I've been building up the individual parts over the last few years, some from people on OCAU and some bought new. I tried to get everything in advance so I could build my design around them and not just have blank holes that I'd have to fill in later.
    At one point I did have a big list of everything, but I stopped using that for no good reason other than just being lazy.
    I model everything first so I can create cut-lists for the metal I order, as well I can make engineering drawings that I can follow and don't have to make it up on the spot (makes it easier to line everything up too!)
     
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  18. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

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    Sorry for not posting last week, I didn't take a break, but the work I did was not very exciting for a whole post, plus I'm lazy and cbf writing an update

    These last two weeks have been dedicated to making mounting brackets for the motors which is basically drilling a few holes and then spending an age filing using a micro-file set, since all the holes are too small to fit any of my larger bastard files, the inconsiderate bastards

    Each motor mount has to be adjustable to be able to tension the timing belts to prevent any of the pulleys from running backwards or whipping during direction changes
    The amount of adjustability is based on the length of the belts and the size of the pulleys, to allow the belts to fit over flanges and then still to be pulled taught
    I added adjustability in two places for most of the brackets, one is moving the motor itself in the slots, and the second is to adjust the actual bracket itself using packing spacers

    Started with rebuilding the proof of concept I did in the previous post, cutting new slots for the y-motor in a clean piece of steel
    It has a welded tab that can be bolted to the column of the gantry and a pressure screw that can be used to set the distance of the bracket itself. You can see the screw if you look veeeery carefully at the second image
    20200509_145835.jpg 20200509_161001.jpg 20200509_161029.jpg

    The Z-axis motor bracket, showing the gang drilling for the bolt holes and the method I used for making the shaft slot. It was done by using a hole saw, drilling to half depth, stopping and then moving to the offset hole, fully sawing through, returning to the half cut which is used to locate the hole saw and prevent run-out and sawing through. It was very easy to clean up with a file afterwards
    20200509_221630.jpg

    Z motor plate attached to the Z axis assembly. The bracket needs a 5mm spacer to be set to the correct height, you can see the belt isn't exactly running straight here
    20200509_231109.jpg

    I took last saturday off to go motorbiking through kinglake, making the most of the end to the motorbike ban, it was really spectacular out there, haven't seen the hills in such a long time now
    The sunday was dedicated to the last 3 brackets for the machine, the X-motor bracket, X fixed bearing and floating bearing brackets
    The fixed bearing and motor bracket are bolted together into one assembly, which then gets bolted to the frame of the cnc, just underneath the table
    You can see the floating bearing bracket below, with a large slot cut out for the timing belt to fit through. I was very proud I got the dimensions correct the first time with this piece
    20200517_175913.jpg

    The finished combined motor and bearing bracket. The motor bracket is slotted to allow tensioning, and spacers can be put between it and the bearing bracket if more space is required. The whole motor bracket itself is slotted so I can adjust it's 'horizontal' positioning so it can line up with the timing pulley on the x-axis ballscrew, not shown here
    20200518_000445.jpg

    Hell it's a big motor! Satisfied hand for scale!
    These three brackets (floating bearing bracket not pictured, it's not that exciting) took me from 3:30 till 12:35 on sunday to complete, most of that was filing. At one point on of my precision files exploded into my thumb, luckily it mostly hit my nail so there was only a little bit of blood which was mopped up with a slightly oily rag and I grabbed a new file and continued, however the top half of the file is still MIA, it jettisoned to somewhere in my garage but I have no idea where. I've cleaned the floor and workbench twice since and it hasn't turned up.
    20200518_000553.jpg

    The finishing of these brackets marks the end of the mechanical aspect of the cnc build! Once they're attached and lined up next weekend, the cnc will be mechanically completed, ready to be plugged into the software and start moving around!
    I've got the limit switches ready to go, just go to decide where to put them, but until then I'll have my hand over the E-stop! I just want it to run now
     
    mad_mic3 and dirtyd like this.
  19. dirtyd

    dirtyd Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,041
    Location:
    Melbs
    Nice, looking forward to seeing some motor action
     
    PheonixV2 likes this.
  20. OP
    OP
    PheonixV2

    PheonixV2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Melbourne
    On the whole, it was a very productive/anti-climactic weekend
    The cnc moved under it's own power but definitely isn't ready to go start machining things

    I got to begin with aligning the ball-screw bearing mounts, this was actually fairly straight forward, I attached the ball-screw to the table and ran the table to each end of the screw which forces the bearing block into its natural position. Clamp in place and transfer holes for the mounting points to the frame, and then repeat on the other side
    20200523_170426.jpg 20200523_170419.jpg (this is driven to the 'left' side to align the fixed ball-screw bracket, the bracket pictured is the floating end, and in this case it's literally floating cos I haven't put the bracket there yet)

    Screwing the x-motor bracket into the ballscrew mount, everything lined up and there was barely any deflection
    20200524_152117.jpg

    The new pulleys haven't arrived yet, so I had to make do with some old ones which had oversized bores. Definitely do not recommend for anyone to do. The pulleys get clamped to the shaft with a grub screw, and with an oversized bore this basically makes them a cam, so there's no constant rotation or load. I knew this going into it, but just wanted to see my cnc move haha, it's been so long!

    Attached all the motor cables to the electronics box (I have cool names for things), I haven't shown much of the electronics box stuff here, mostly because I assembled it a few years ago from a lot of parts bought from a fellow OCAU member, he actually provided the box as well as the computer with MACH3 already set up. I just upgraded few components and added a circuit breaker
    20200524_172638.jpg 20200524_172643.jpg

    With it all set up, I was ready to connect the PC and start playing around... or was I?
    For some unknown reason the pc refused to connect to the ESS (ethernet smoothstepper from warp9), it wasn't even ping-able from the cmd. So I broke out my laptop and went through the full internet setup there and was able to ping the ess first try. There was a lot of unplugging and replugging, I have my brother to thank for doing the ip address mucking around, he's a wizard at those sorts of things. He eventually went and set up mach3 on my laptop as well to try connecting it fully there, but ran into the same issue where the ess wasn't contactable (also MACH3 on the PC already had all the ports and pins configured so we decided to focus attention there again). Eventually we were able to ping the ess from the pc but still no mach3 connection.
    I went through all the connection issues troubleshooting steps listed on the documentation; everything was correct, the LED's were blinking correctly, I was on the correct port, firewalls were configured correctly, it was ping-able, "Congratulations, you can now connect to your ESS", except I couldn't. Same issue - client didn't respond to wake up call
    At this point I gave up and went for dinner
    Came back an hour later and it was alive! Maybe it was just shy. After a few plug-in tests, and rebooting, the ESS was connecting every time
    20200524_202350.jpg

    I don't know how to post a video to here, but there wasn't much special to see. After the first few moves I removed the pulleys from the x and y axis because they were slipping and scratching the shafts, the only successful axis was Z :D
    I got to play around with the control pendant too, it'll be very useful for setting origins and any manual machining I might do

    IT'S ALIVE!
    Very excited

    The replacement pulleys should be arriving this week, which just leaves drilling out the bores to the correct size, attaching the limit switches, and the spindle (oh and the cable tray if I can be bothered).
    After that, the test cuts can begin!

    I might not be able to work on it this weekend, the outdoors beckons
     
    mad_mic3, Whoreof Babylon and dirtyd like this.

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